For the past 7/8 years all I've ever wanted was to be able to go out and fully enjoy myself "just one more time". Be able to hang out with my friends and cousins, jump up with no hesitation at the ding of a "let's go ___" text or just go on an impromptu adventure and explore this beautiful city I'm lucky enough to call home. Though, this had been something I had dreamt of since this all started at the age of 13, I never knew it'd actually become my reality again. My wish had finally come true - to an extent. 

Don't get me wrong, I still have that strong hold of anxiety over me and it still very much interferes with my day to day life. I don't go out as much as your typical almost 21 year old would, but for me, I'm doing pretty good. If you've read my previous mental health related posts, you're familiar with just how intense everything was/is. 

I've done every one of the things I've listed above and it was just as amazing as I had always wished it would've been. I've gone adventuring around DTLA more times than I've thought I ever would and the beauty just keeps getting better every visit. I've gone to museums and ignited this love/passion for the art that I never knew was inside me. I babysit my nephew almost everyday of the week and it acts almost as a self therapy as I'm constantly fighting against my emetophobia and agoraphobia to keep him busy and as comfortable as possible. 

But as I'm laying here in bed feeling both mentally and physically drained, I'm wondering if this was all worth it? Was this right here what I'm experiencing now what I had been fighting for (and still am) all these years? It's one of those things where I feel it'll always be a lose lose situation for me. Don't do anything and let it all consume me once again or do things, have fun in the moment but deal with the extreme exhaustion afterward? Both come with a side of depression, but it's something I've sadly become use to. 

I feel disappointment in myself for not only thinking it, but for even typing it now for you all to see - but sometimes I do yearn for the past to come back. For me to just give up on my trying and always be stuck in bed again unable to do a thing. I know it's not uncommon for people to have these thoughts or feel that way, but it doesn't make it any less sick. Right along side those negative feelings though, my drive to become the best me is still there and pushing harder. I've come this far and I'm not going to give up because I deserve all the happiness in the world. 

I'm not even sure what the purpose of this post was honestly... To rant? Hope someone reading this relates and assures me I'm not just insane? Or maybe help that one person who tried to google "getting burnt out trying to fight anxiety" and didn't get the answer they were looking for (aka me) - this probably didn't help, but hey, at least you know you're not by yourself in this.

I love you guys tons. Thank you for always checking up on me whether it be through a tweet, email or on instagram. Hope you guys are all doing fantastic, having tons of fun and causing a little trouble along the way! 

P.S. Someone's a bit aggy, went on a little rant on Twitter didn't I? Gotta love being emotional ha!!!!! 

                                                             

Yours, 
KRISTINA X 

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mental health diaries #9


Last year, thrifting was something I enjoyed but found it heightened my anxiety tremendously. As time has gone on, I've grown to create it more into something that's a coping mechanism rather than a trigger. I find myself inside a thrift store practically every week, sometimes even multiple times a week. 

I've created posts on here and sometimes on my other social media sites like Twitter and Instagram to showcase my finds. Everytime I do the responses are always along the lines of: "omg how'd you get that for so cheap?!" "I wish the thrift stores around me were as cool as yours!" "That stuff is so cute, I can never find anything like that at mine!" and so on. So here I am today, making this post for you to share some important thrifting tips I've accumulated to always make your trips good ones. 


PATIENCE IS KEY 

I'd say the biggest issue when it comes to thrifting is the patience factor. A lot of people see these hauls of things other people find and they go into a store thinking they could just walk in and all the treasures will be up front waiting for them. Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way. 

9 times out of 10 the cute finds you see were found after someone sifted through rows and rows of racks or dug through piles of clothing. Sometimes you will get lucky and find an item without having to do too much work, but it's definitely not an always thing. 



BE PREPARED 

If you're planning a trip to a thrift store, making sure you're fully prepared is key to a successful trip. 

Dress comfortably - throw on some leggings, loose tee and some shoes you won't mind standing in for long periods of time. Make sure your clothing is easy/quick to get on and off (or tight enough if you want to try on over your clothes for sanitary reasons) to make the dressing room process smoother. 

Make sure to eat beforehand or bring snacks/water with you to munch on while there. Some stores are specific on what's let in or not so keep that in mind before going. Doing anything on an empty stomach is the worst, but combined with some of the frustrations thrifting can bring - your time spent will not be fun. An hour planned trip can turn into a 3 hour one real quick! 


DON'T BE DISCOURAGED 

Like I mentioned above, you're going to have to do some digging to find the best of the best. You're going to come across a lot of garments you aren't fond of and its going to bring that energetic/excited mood you once held down and you'll probably end up just wanting to leave after 10 minutes. 

Thrift stores are filled with tons and tons of clothing. It's vintage and sometimes that specific style isn't something you're into, but I promise if you skip through what you don't like rather than letting it discourage you, you'll soon find little pieces here and there that you do take a liking to. 


OVERTHINKING - STOP IT! 

This is one of the most important tips you need to remember. DON'T OVERTHINK AN ITEM. The amount of times I've picked out an item that my mom thought was hideous in store, came home and tried it on and her whole outlook on it changed can't be counted on two hands. 

A lot of the times stuff will look hideous on the hanger, but look amazing on. I feel like that's something that happens in all stores, not just thrift shops. Always keep an open mind. If you find yourself drawn to something, grab it and throw it in your basket! What's the harm in just trying it on? 

Being able to see a piece of clothing in your hand and envision a whole outfit around it helps tremendously as well. Let your imagination run wild, don't limit yourself because of others opinions/inputs. 


HAVE FUN 

To end off this short list of tips, the most important thing to remember is to have fun. Thrifting is suppose to be an exciting experience filled with adrenaline and thrill over finding a nice treasure. Take it easy and don't stress out! Some trips you'll come out with bags full of things and others you'll be leaving empty handed - both are completely fine. There is always next time! 

KRISTINA X 

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5 tips to step your thrifting game up


Every since I've started embracing the curls, I've been into trying out new products to see which agree with my hair most. I recently got the opportunity to try out some stuff from a company called HASK. HASK is a collection of hair care products featuring exotic oils from around the world.

Upon receiving the package I was completely impressed, the presentation of it all was way more than expected and to make it even better this is a cruelty free company. 



I received the Mint Almond Oil collection; shampoo, conditioner and root thickening spray. It claims to increase your hairs body and texture all while reviving and strengthening your hair.  

The reason I do reviews like this is to help suggest products or give my opinion on why you should think of giving them a pass. The goal is to be your test dummy and ultimately hopefully help you guys save money. 

I tried the shampoo and conditioner out today and... I wasn't impressed at all. I was pretty disappointed actually, like I mentioned earlier I had very high hopes for these products. The first issue I had with it was the scent. I guess I'm just not a minty kind of hair person? I prefer more tropical smelling things. I think if the mint smell was more subtle, I couldn't be dealt with it, but it was so strong to the point where it gave me a bit of a headache. 


When I washed my hair with the shampoo, it felt very stripped. I kind of just passed it off because I'm not a big fan of shampoo in the first place and I thought maybe once I used the conditioner, my hair would get soft again like it usually did. Boy, was I wrong. 

LETTING CONDITONER SIT

After applying the conditioner and letting it sit for a few minutes like I would during my normal routine, I rinsed it and the state of my hair was atrocious. It felt so stringy, knotted and like it was about to be cut off to be the bristles of a broom. You guys, I have never felt my hair that bad. It was so knotted I was scared that if I continued to brush it out I would lose so much hair. I ran to my mom freaking out asking, "What should do, what should I do?! My hair is so tangled!". Initially I had planned to use the shampoo, conditioner, the spray and then post some pictures of later on in the day to show how my curls ended up/lasted throughout the day. Due to how my hair reacted I couldn't get myself to leave it and continue onto the spray. I ran to the bath and washed my hair with my regular hair wash. I'm now currently typing this out with a Cantu deep conditioning mask (it's AMAZING!) on hoping to bring some moisture and softness back to my hair. 

Keep in mind that I do have curly hair and can only speak on this specific product alone so the outcome may be different on another hair type, but this is what I experienced and I'm not too happy about it. I'm not entirely sure if they have specific sets that cater to different hair textures/types, but they do have some other options besides the mint one. For example there is a coconut one and an argan oil one that may have worked better for me, but who knows? 

Would I recommend this product? No, especially if you have curly hair like myself. Maybe give it a go if you have straight or wavy hair? It's really up to you to decide after reading what I experienced. Being completely honest I would be willing to try out the coconut one, but I really don't think I'd go out and buy it for myself. 


KRISTINA X 

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Disclaimer: All opinions disclosed are completely my own. This product was sent to me for review. 

hask mint almond oil hair products review



It's only been about 7 years (HA!) but I've finally managed to find a concoction of products that work well with my skin. From previous experiences, I've realized I have pretty sensitive skin. Anytime I'd try a new facial product it'd end up in a pretty bad, confidence-crushing state. I'd break out like crazy basically. 

THE PRODUCTS 

This group of products I've gathered together consists of 3 things: Belif Aqua Bomb, Pur~Lisse Blue Lotus Eye Serum and Up & Up (Target brand) Exfoliating Cleansing Wipes. I've been using the aqua bomb and eye serum since the end of January, only recently adding in the exfoliating wipes last month. 

 RETAIL PRICE: $38 for 50ml / $22 for 25 ml

 RETAIL PRICE: $65 
It is a big price tag, so skip it if it's too much and stick with just the other two products! 


RETAIL PRICE: $3.59

THE ROUTINE 

Before I get into this part I just want to make it clear that I'm not a dermatologist, some of you may cringe at what I do or whatever, but this is what I've been doing and has been working for me. It's pretty simple! 

Starting at night whether I've worn make up that day or not, I'll use one of the wipes to clean up my entire face and once I've finished I'll let give it a minute to dry. 

I use to use Dark Angels to clean my face, but I honestly just got too lazy (And it expired recently. Why do they expire so quick?! I still have practically a full jar!) when it came to washing off my makeup. Wipes are always a win. You're already in bed and don't want to get up and go to the bathroom to wash your face? No worries, got my makeup wipes right next to my bed. 

After my face has dried, I apply the Belif Aqua Bomb to my face abiding only my under eyes. The reason I avoid my under eyes is simply because I'm going to add the eye serum next. You could probably add the Belif product to your entire face and just put the serum on afterward with no issue, but it's just a habit I've grown. That's pretty much all I do. All of my skin care happens at night and sometimes the next day before I apply makeup, I'll put some of the Aqua Bomb on but that's really only if I remember to. 

Ever since I've started using these products, especially after adding in the exfoliating wipes I've noticed my skin in the best shape it's ever been in.  My skin is problematic so breakouts are going to happen, but they are usually only hormonal. This month I only got two, a teeny one on my cheekbone and one in the middle of my eyebrows (ugh it's one of those annoying shiny ones) but I'll take that over the multiple I would've had months ago any day! 

Have you guys tried any of these products? 

KRISTINA X 

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my 2016 acne prone skin care routine


The weekend before last my brother, his girlfriend and I took a little adventure down to downtown LA to visit one of my favorite spots Jet Rag. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this place, it's basically "the place to be" for your local LA hipsters, designers and students (or just regular people like me) on a budget to thrift.

This was my second time coming to their Sunday event and it was... interesting, to say the least. I got some great finds though! If you're in the LA area or ever find yourself here on a Sunday, it's definitely worth checking out.


EVERYTHING PICTURED WAS A $1 EACH












My favorite find of the trip definitely had to be the red/blue windbreaker. I'm obsessed!

KRISTINA X 

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jet rag $1 sunday sale haul


Hey guys, It's been a while since I've sat down and written a post in regards to my mental health. As of late, I've noticed I kind of strayed more towards the fashion and beauty side of blogging - and though it's incredibly fun, I like to make sure I'm always taking the time out to discuss real life things. 

I don't exactly remember where I left off in my last mental health update, but I figured I'd just start off with the first thing that pops up into my head. The biggest change that's happened in these last few months is how active I am. I'm 99% sure in my last updates I mentioned my lack of motivation, which you can refer back to (under the mental health tab), but if I didn't - long story short, I basically spent all day in bed. It was pretty much a 24/7 thing, from the moment I would wake up to the moment I went to sleep, I was in bed. At one time, it had even gotten to a point where I was actually starting to feel the negative effects it was having on my bones and body in general. It was a terrifying feeling, especially because I'm still so young. 

I recently started babysitting my big cousin's little boy and it's been interesting. Interesting in a good way though. I've never been one of those baby fever type people, I've even always said I don't think I'll ever have a child of my own but he's played such a huge role in my "road to recovery". I'm able to do so much because of him and I'm learning of lot patience as well. I mentioned in my last post on The Broad how I felt my ability to control my anxiety and actually get the opportunity to enjoy myself all boiled down to his presence. Being so focused on the well being of another human takes away that time you once had used up to panic. It's crazy how a simple little favor you were doing for a family would benefit you in such a huge way. 

As much as I wish this post could be filled with nothing but positivity and happy rants on all the things I've been doing, it's just not something that is realistic for me at the moment. With the improvements comes the disintegration of other abilities I once held. I still find myself getting down about the things I can't do, maybe even more so now. It's one of those things where you're seeing the improvements but you get frustrated because it's just tiny things getting better in this huge web of issues you have and you just want it all gone. 

Another issue I deal with is flaking. Flaking, flaking, flaking - one of everyone's pet hates. It annoys them and it annoys me too. I'd imagine it's a common issue with those of us who have anxiety, but I'd like to hear from you guys as well.. Do you have trouble keeping up plans? If you do, have you found a way to improve your reliability? 

That's all that really comes to mind at the moment, this has definitely been a more positive mental health update in comparison to my first few, but I do still have a long way to go. Hope all of you are doing good on your journeys! I love getting tweets about how you guys are doing so don't be afraid to get in touch on twitter :) 

P.S. That little, unplanned blog hiatus I went on is officially over. Posts will be coming out regularly again soon. If you'd like, you could send some post suggestions my way. Talk soon!

Love you lots, 
KRISTINA X 

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MENTAL HEALTH DIARIES #8: A LITTLE UPDATE

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